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The benefits of a dry ridge

Since the introduction of BS 5534, dry ridge systems are now a building control requirement on all new roofs, however they are not a control requirement for repairs to existing roofs which may have been previously done with traditional sand and cement.

If you are looking to update your roof, although you are not required to replace your ridge with a dry ridge, it may be worth looking into.

This blog aims to give you a full break down into what is a dry ridge and how they can benefit your roof.

 

What is a dry ridge system?

A dry ridge system is an alternative method to mortar of fixing ridge tiles to the roof. The general process involves a roll out membrane for ventilation, mechanically fixed plastic unions and metal screw fixings. Where replacing a mortar bed ridge line for dry ridge, the existing ridge tiles will be removed and cleaned and then re-fixed using a dry ridge kit.

 

What is the alternative to a dry ridge?

The alternative to a dry ridge is a wet ridge. A wet ridge is the more traditional roofing technique of using sand and cement to bind the ridge to the roof tiles.

Wet ridges are a cheaper alternative to dry ridges; however they are not long lasting and require regular maintenance.

A wet ridge is recommended to homeowners who are either on a tight budget or require a more traditional roofing technique to fit with the aesthetics of a period property.

 

What are the benefits of having a dry ridge verses the alternative?
  • Longer lasting – As dry ridge systems are mortar free and each tile is mechanically attached, the whole system is much stronger and are tested to withstand extreme weather conditions, requiring minimal to no maintenance over the lifespan of the roof. The alternative traditional mortar application often requires maintenance every 5 years.
  • Variety of shapes and colours – There is a vast variety of shapes and colours for dry ridge systems out there, giving you a choice on a style that suites your home and taste perfectly.
  • Helps improve roof ventilation – Because there is no mortar involved attaching the ridge to the roof tiles, this means that a gap can be left around the ridge allowing for ventilation. This is particularly handy in the winter months when a roof needs lots of ventilation to prevent condensation when the heaters are switched back on in the home.

 

Considering the costs of wet and dry ridges

If you are considering either of these systems, it may be worth speaking with your roofing contractor on which option is best. Some contractors may quote up to double for a dry ridge system whereas others may offer a negligible saving for wet fix ridges. This is because even though dry ridge systems cost more in materials, they are generally less labour intensive against re-bedding ridges, therefore making both methods a similar cost.

 

Send in the professionals!

If you are looking to have your ridge updated or replaced, and are interested in having a dry ridge installed, its always best to have the work done by a professional.

Here at Kidderminster Roofing Contracts ltd, we can provide a free no obligation quotation for any roof maintenance, repair or replacement request. Contact us today to see how we can help with you!
Tel: 01562 748270
Email: office@kidderminsterroofing.com
Or drop us a message on Facebook!


Why is there a pool of water on my flat roof?

During our recent downpours, you may have noticed your flat roof collecting pools or puddles of water and understandably be concerned about what damage it may be causing.

Here at Kidderminster Roofing Contracts ltd, we have had lots calls from people who are worried about large puddles appearing on their flat roof asking for advice as it is a very common issue with a very simple answer.

Why does water puddle on a flat roof?

It is common for puddles to appear on a flat roof as unlike a pitched roof, a flat roof struggles to drain rain water as it doesn’t have the benefit of a pitched slope, which can often cause water to sit until it is eventually evaporated away when the weather dries up.

Small puddles are often nothing to worry about, however large pools of water could cause damage if left untreated.

What causes a pool of water to appear on a flat roof is a process called “ponding”. Ponding occurs when excess waters that is left on a rooftop after a downpour is unable to drain away and remains for 24-48 hours.

What can cause ponding?
  • Insufficient drainage – A flat roof can pond if there is insufficient drainage, such as a blocked outlet or downpipe.
  • Weight damage to the flat roof –  A flat roof is not designed to withstand a large amount of weight. If a heavy object is left on a flat roof, or if someone was to regularly walk on a flat roof (i.e. to use as a balcony) not designed for this purpose, the roof can begin to concave inward, trapping water and causing the roof to pond.
  • A roof fixture – New roof fixtures placed into a flat roof such as a lantern or skylight can create gaps causing water to get trapped on a flat roof.
  • Moss and waste – Moss and other waste such as dead leaves can hold water causing the rood to pond. It is always important to remove waste and any excess moss. Read our blog on removing moss from your rooftop.
  • A change in materials –  Originally when a flat roof was lay, a roofer would use a material called limestone grit which gave a gravel appearance on the top of the flat roof. As water would pool, the pool would lay invisible as the water would sit inside the gravel and remain undetected. Since then this material is no longer used and more modern materials such as EPDM rubber and GRP are becoming more popular. These modern coverings tend to be smooth faced meaning pooling water that would previously be hidden by grit becomes much more obvious.
  • Structural fatigue and settlement – Over time, roof joists and timber can settle and fatigue. As this happens, the substrate sinks, creating a concave in the roof covering for water to collect and pool. As time goes on, the pooling and settlement go hand in hand and becomes a never ending cycle which often results in full roof replacement.
What is the risk of puddles on my roof?

There is no actual risk of puddles on a roof top, these are very normal, however an extreme amount of water causing ponding on a roof top could be a risk.

Extreme ponding will only ever get worse until its too late. Ongoing ponding will eventually damage the structure of a flat roof, eventually causing it to leak, by which point any repair would be too late, and a complete re-roof is required.

When can puddles on my flat roof be beneficial?

Excess water on a flat roof can be risky, however it can be beneficial to have a little extra water as a form of protection against extreme heat in the summer months. This is because certain materials such as bitumen based felts used on a flat roof can crack when exposed to direct sunlight, damaging the roof. In these cases, it is actually better to have some excess water on the roof top to help keep the roof cool on hot days.

Send in the professionals!

If you are concerned about your flat roof pooling, its always best to have this assessed by a professional.

Here at Kidderminster Roofing Contracts ltd, we can provide a free no obligation quotation for any roof maintenance such as flat roof maintenance, repair or replacement request. Contact us today to see how we can help with you!
Tel: 01562 748270
Email: office@kidderminsterroofing.com
Or drop us a message on Facebook!


Clearing gutters and why it is important

Full or blocked gutters can go undetected and if not cleared correctly, can cause a lot of damage to your home.

Here at Kidderminster Roofing Contracts ltd, after over 30 years’ experience in roofing, we have identified a number of reasons why it is important to keep gutters clear in preventing irreversible damage to a home.

 

What causes a gutter to become blocked?

A gutter or downpipe can become blocked for a number of reasons, including:

  • Falling leaves – Falling leaves from nearby trees can blow into gutters, where they begin to decompose and become blocked in a gutter or downpipe.
  • Moss build up– Moss build up on tiles or slates can slip down from the rooftop into the gutter where I can continue to grow and block the gutter or downpipe.
  • Animal waste – Animal waste such as bird excrement or even deceased birds, rodents or insects can often be the cause of a blockage in a gutter or downpipe.
  • Nesting birds – A common reason a gutters can block may be the result of nesting birds, however care must be taken to ensure nests are unoccupied before attempts are made to remove the nest as all bird nest are protected by the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981.

 

What are the risks of a blocked gutter?

A blocked gutter increases risks of leaks and water damage –  When a gutter and downpipe becomes  blocked the rainwater can no longer drain properly from the rooftop, causing water to overflow and even re-route, which may cause interior as well as exterior damage to your home.

Damage to the foundations – If water is unable to drain from the rooftop correctly and forced to re-route, it may find its way into the foundations of your home and become trapped. Overtime this trapped water can expand and freeze during cold weather causing cracks to appear in the foundations of your home which can cause a lot of structural issues.

Risk of rot – Wherever there is a risk of water damage to a roof, there is a risk to the structural timbers to the roof which if they become damp, risk rotting. Timbers damaged by rot cannot be  repaired, and may result in your needing a full replacement which will cost you a lot of money.

Unwanted guests -Blocked gutters make an ideal home for many animals such as a variety of birds, rodents or insects which can cause an unpleasant infestation on a home if not rectified early.

The gutter twisting and losing it’s shape – When a gutter becomes full, water can become trapped in the pipe. During cold weather this trapped water can freeze ans expand causing the gutter to change its shape becoming twisted. Once the gutter has been twisted, the damage is impossible to rectify and water draining from the rooftop will become re-routed and will likely cause water damage to a property. In this case, your gutter would need to be replaced.

Risk of falling – An overloaded gutter can become heavy, and in some cases detach itself from the roof if can no longer handle the weight. A falling gutter could cause a significant amount of damage to property in its path, but could also risk hitting a bystander. A falling gutter can also become costly to you as the home owner as it will require re-fitting, or if the gutter becomes damaged in the fall, would require a replacement.

 

Send in the professionals

Its important to always ensure your gutters are checked and cleared every spring and autumn to reduce the risk of blockages which left untreated can cause significant damage to your home.

Not only should you ensure the interior of the gutters are cleared, however it is also important to make sure the exterior of the gutter is cleaned regularly to prevent moss from breaking down the gutter’s protective coating causing a discoloration to the gutter.

 

How can we help?

Need professional advice to help check your gutters? Here at Kidderminster Roofing Contracts ltd, we can provide a free no obligation quotation for any roof maintenance such as gutter maintenance, repair or replacement request. Contact us today to see how we can help with you!
Tel: 01562 748270
Email: office@kidderminsterroofing.com
Or drop us a message on Facebook!


The dangers of a slipped roof tile

You probably wouldn’t notice there was a slipped roof tile on your roof, or wouldn’t think it was significant until it was too late.

Here at Kidderminster Roofing Contracts ltd, we’ve seen after over 30 years of experience in roofing what damage can be cause when a slipped roof tiles are ignored by homeowners.

Here are just some of the reasons a slipped roof tile would need to be rectified straight away:

Risk of a falling roof tile – What goes up must come down, and when a roof tile slips the only direction it will go is down, which could damage property, or in worse case scenarios seriously injure passers-by. It might not seem too risky at first, however just a bit of wind can be enough to blow a tile off a rooftop. If a roof tile should land on a public footpath, you may be liable for any personal injury claims, so it would be in your best interest to get the tile repaired as soon as possible.

Leaks and water damage – Once a tile slips, a weak spot is unearthed and a bit of bad weather can make one small problem into a massive one. Once you notice a damp patch in your home, unfortunately the damage may have already been done, and what could have been a small repair on a slipped tile will probably be much bigger job, with major leaks often destroying insulation as well as other structural materials.

Unexpected visitors – A slipped tile doesn’t just mean access to water, but the potential for new house mates, such as nesting birds and even rodents or insects. Once a bird nests, it is illegal to remove the nest until the young flown the nest under the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981.

Mold – Mold grows anywhere that is damp and warm, making leaky rooftops the ideal place to thrive. Mold can spreading across damp walls inside the home where a leak from a slipped roof tile has dripped down into the walls and even the brickwork. The mold caused by leaks not only look unsightly, however can also cause risks to health such as asthma, allergies, sinus issues and headaches, with children and the elderly particularly at risk.

Wood rot – A slipped tile means the timber structures to your home become exposed to the elements. Just a bit of rain, and these timber structures become damp and in time can rot. Timbers that begin to rot are irreparable and can end up costing you a lot of money to replace.

Risk of losing market value – If  you are looking to sell, it you’d probably want to have any slipped tiles on your roof repaired. The first thing any potential new buyer will look at when buying a new home is the roof. A slipped tile may be the difference between a successful sale on your home or a substantial loss on profits.

 

When not to repair a slipped tile

It is always advised to have a slipped tile repaired if it is easily accessible, however if the slipped tile is difficult to access, such as a slipped tile on the very top of the roof, it may cause more damage to repair than to simply leave alone. For instance, a slipped tile in a difficult to access area of a roof may require stepping on other tiles to access which in turn may damage or move the other tiles. Any slipped tile repair must be assessed by a professional roofer with great care to judge if it could cause more damage to fix the issue or to leave it alone.

 

Send in the professionals!

It is always advised that you have a professional roofer review and assess your roof regularly to ensure small repairs can be made safely and affordably before they risk turning into big repairs.

 

How can we help?

Need professional advice to help check your slipped tiles? Here at Kidderminster Roofing Contracts ltd, we can provide a free no obligation quotation for any roof maintenance such as a roof tile repairs. Contact us today to see how we can help with you!
Tel: 01562 748270
Email: office@kidderminsterroofing.com
Or drop us a message on Facebook!


Birds Nesting In Roof Eaves

A common question we are asked at Kidderminster Roofing Contracts ltd, is how to stop birds nesting in roof eaves on a house. Customers often complain about noisy birds in their roof eaves and ask if they can remove the nests.

The fact is that it is illegal to remove nesting birds once they have settled, however there are ways to prevent birds nesting in roof eaves the following year, provided the correct work is done during the months that birds are no longer nesting.

We aim to explore why birds may nest in your roof eave as well as explore different ways your might prevent birds from nesting in your roof eaves in the future.

 

Why do birds nest in roof eaves

According to the RSPB rooftops are vital sanctuaries for a lot of birds due to the loss of a lot of natural nest sites.

Birds that commonly nest on rooftops include:

  • House Sparrows.
  • Starlings.
  • Swifts.
  • Swallows.
  • Blue tits/Great Tits.
  • Jackdaws.

 

Why nests cannot be disturbed or removed

It is illegal to disturb or remove nesting birds from roof eaves once they have settled under the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981. This includes removing or blocking a nest’s access. Nests must be left with access until the young have had chance to develop and leave the nest.

The reason for this is conservation. The RSPB have identified many of these rooftop nesting birds are in decline. Swifts have declined with Starlings and House Sparrows now red listed, and House Martins and Swallows now amber listed.

 

When will I be able to have work done on my roof?

If you require work to be done on your roof that would risk disturbing a bird’s nest, you will have to wait to have the work done in the winter months when birds are no longer nesting (ideally between October and February).

This may be frustrating for both yourself and the client, however legally it is the correct thing to do.

 

What if I don’t have a choice?

You should always avoid roofing project if you are aware of birds nesting in a roof, however often, bird nests go undetected until major roofing projects or renovation projects begin.

If this happens and the roof cannot go untouched until the young have left the nest, one option recommended by the RSPB is to make an artificial nest box for Starlings or Sparrows by cutting a four-litre ice cream tub.

See the RSPB website for advice on building an artificial nest box.

 

Ways to discourage birds nesting in roof eaves

There are many recommendations you can help prevent birds nesting in your roof eaves in the future, such as:

  • Keeping on top of roof maintenance, ensuring to have your roof checked each winter by a professional roofer, (between October and February), ensuring to clean out and seal any holes or gaps as appropriate, to reduce the risk of birds entering to nest or becoming trapped.
  • Putting out bird houses, providing alternative nesting spaces for birds. By placing bird houses around your garden, you can create safe spaces for birds to nest year after year.

 

Get in the professional
Need professional advice to help prevent birds nesting in your roof? Here at Kidderminster Roofing Contracts ltd, we can provide a free no obligation quotation for any roof maintenance, repair or re-roof request. Contact us today to see how we can help with you!
Tel: 01562 748270
Email: office@kidderminsterroofing.com
Or drop us a message on Facebook!


Rooftop moss and how to remove it

 

A common question we are asked at Kidderminster Roofing Contracts ltd by clients is how to remove moss from their roof tiles or slates.

Although removing moss from a roof may seem a very simple job, the reality is that moss removal can often more damage if done incorrectly, and should only be done by a professional roofer.

 

What causes moss to grow on tiles and slates and what problems can it cause?

To deal with moss growth on a rooftop, first we need to understand what has caused moss to grow, and the issues it may cause.

Moss and algae likes to grow anywhere which is damp and shaded, making rooftops and gutters the ideal place to thrive. The moss that grows on rooftops can then cause damage to the tiles or slates by both retaining water, causing roofing materials to rot, or even causing trapped water to freeze in cold weather and expand, resulting in damage to the tiles or slates, making them move, slip or even break. Moss can even grow into the tiles or slates themselves, making them damaged and weak.

With excessive damage to tiles or slates as a result of constant moss damage, removing moss from a rooftop can dangerous job to the inexperienced, which should only be handled by a professional with the correct tools, equipment and knowledge.

 

How not to remove moss

Although it may be tempting to remove the moss yourself without the expense of a professional, what may often seem to be a simple approach to the job could cause more harm than good. Here are some of the questions we are often asked about moss removal:

 

Question: Can I use a pressure washer to remove the moss?

Answer: No. A pressure washer will only further damage the rooftop and tiles or slates as it is too abrasive.

 

Question: Can I use cleaners or chemicals to remove the moss?

Answer: We wouldn’t recommend it. There are many products on the market that claim to remove moss from tiles and slates, however in our experience, moss will often grow into the tiles or slates, and using harsh chemicals and cleaners on a tile or slate surface will only aim to remove the protective coating from the roof tiles or slates, making them weaker and more susceptible to further moss damage. Moss removing chemicals can also be damaging to the environment, potentially harming both plants and animals.

 

Solutions and options 

Although moss an impossible issue to solve, there are some solutions and options we here at Kidderminster Roofing Contracts ltd or another professional roofer can do to help remove or reduce a rooftop moss issue.

Brush or scrape the moss from the tiles or slates – Using a scrubbing brush, a professional roofter can carefully and gently brush the moss from roof tiles or slates to reduce damage to them. A shovel can also be used to scrape the moss from the tiles or slates. This option would require regular treatments by a professional to ensure the moss does not mount up, which may seem inconvenient, however will save a significant amount of money in the long run.

Re-roof – If a roof is too far gone with moss to simply be brushed away, and the damage has already been done to the tiles or slates, a re-roof may be your only option to remove all the moss from the rooftop.

Leave the moss alone – It may seem an unusual option, however if a roof is too far gone to simply brush the moss away, but you cannot afford a complete re-roof at this particular time, the best option would be to leave the moss alone. Although it may be tempting to pressure wash the tiles or slates or put a treatment on it, it may cause far more damage to the overall roof than to simply leave it alone, resulting further issues such as leaks.

 

Get in the professionals

To remove moss from your rooftop, you need the professionals with the correct tools and equipment to do the job safely and effectively. Here at Kidderminster Roofing Contracts ltd, we can provide a free no obligation quotation for any roof repair or re-roof request. Contact us today to see how we can help with you!

Tel: 01562 748270

Email: office@kidderminsterroofing.com

Or drop us a message on Facebook!


Bromsgrove branch now open!

Kidderminster Roofing Bromsgrove

Kidderminster’s only roofing supplies specialist is now open in Bromsgrove! Our new branch on Sanders Road Industrial Estate offers the same products, prices and services that our Kidderminster branch does and we stock many materials that you need to get the job done including:

  • Firestone EPDM rubber
  • Building plastics
  • Flat Roofing felt
  • Solutions
  • Tools
  • Timber
  • Breathable membranes
  • Fixings

All bulk items available for immediate delivery from our Kidderminster depot Come and visit us today or call 01527 864944 for any price or product enquires.


Stringent Lending Stems Buyer Demand

Too few properties coming onto the market and more stringent lending conditions appear to be stemming the tide of prospective home buyers, according to the latest RICS Residential Market Survey.

The national supply of new homes coming onto the market dropped for the fifth month running in May and in London, where fears of an overheating market have been expressed, demand for new homes fell for the first time since June 2012.

In the month that saw UK house prices reach record levels and greater lending restrictions begin to impact the market, respondents reported that banks are lending less, with the average Loan to Value (LTV) ratios among first time buyers dropping to 85.3% (from 86% in April).

Meanwhile, respondents’ expectations for house prices over the next 12 months dropped from 3.9% to 3.6% – the lowest since December 2013.

Simon Rubinsohn, RICS Chief Economist, said: “What we are really seeing is some of the very strong upward momentum starting to come off the housing market, as a lack of supply, higher prices, more prudent lending measures and some of the talk from the Bank of England are creating a level of caution among sellers and buyers. The most visible indicators of this are the revised downwards price expectations for the next 12 months and the flatter picture regarding new buyer enquiries. In particular, we’re seeing the London market level off. There is some evidence to suggest that the Mortgage Market Review (MMR) has contributed to a tightening of the funding market, although it is hard to disentangle this from other factors which are now impacting on the sector and to know whether it will simply be a temporary influence as lenders adjust to the new environment.”

Read the full story at: Roofing Today


Construction Up 1.2% on the Month, 4.6% on the Year

The latest figures published today by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that construction output increased by 1.2% in April 2014 compared with March 2014.

Falls in construction output in February and March 2014 have resulted in the rolling three month growth rate falling by a modest 0.1%. However, compared with April 2013 construction output increased by 4.6% due to strong growth in new house building but the quarterly level is still 10.3% below its peak in 2008 Q1.

April’s construction data points towards a strengthening housing market and a pickup in commercial activity seen in private industrial and commercial building. These movements are supported in Bank of England reports which found an increase in housing market transactions, strong growth in house building and a gradual return of confidence in the commercial construction sector.

These improvements coincide with growth in mortgages for house buyers and rising house prices. The Bank of England has reported an increase in mortgage lending in every quarter since Q1 2012, while the ONS House Price Index has risen in every month since March 2012.

ONS say that while the underlying trend in new housing orders has been one of growth, the quarter on quarter fall of 9.0% in Q1 2014 misleadingly suggests that this trend has come to an end. Splitting the sector into public and private new housing orders shows that this fall is due to a significant fall in public housing new orders of -45.7%.

In April 2014, repair & maintenance work increased by 1.6% compared with March, up 4.2% on April last year. Housing repair and maintenance grew slightly due to an increase in public housing repair and maintenance. Non-housing repair and maintenance increased by 2.8%.

Read the full story at: Roofing Today


HSE Spot Checks Start This Week

This week sees the beginning of a two-week drive by HSE construction inspectors making unannounced visits across the country, focusing on ill health on construction sites.

HSE Challenges Sites to ‘Think Health’

Poor working conditions likely to lead to ill health on building sites will be targeted. Inspectors will be looking in particular at

  • respiratory risks from dusts including silica materials;
  • exposure to other hazardous substances such as cement and lead paint;
  • manual handling,
  • noise and vibration.

For every fatal accident in the construction industry, it is estimated that a worker is at least 100 times more likely to die from a disease caused or made worse by their work.

Inspectors will be looking at respiratory risks from dusts including silica materials usually caused by cutting tiles in the roofing industry; exposure to other hazardous substances such as cement and lead paint; manual handling, noise and vibration.

In 2012/13, 39 construction workers were killed. However, more than 500 deaths a year are due to silica exposure alone.

Read the full story at: Roofing Today